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Question Mini-pc as NAS and Media Server/player

jag2000

Novice Member
Hello

At the moment I have an aging NAS, which is used to store music (for a Sonos system), and an aging Kodi box to stream/play video stored on the NAS.

I'm thinking that the NAS and Kodi box could be replaced with a mini-pc, with a linux distro installed on it (e.g. Ubuntu or Linux Mint), which would act both as a NAS and media server. For example, I would buy an intel NUC mini-pc, that would be connected to a couple of USB 3.0 2TB HDDs (acting as a NAS), and installing Kodi (as the media server).

I would want the HDDs to be network accessible by other devices too, e.g. my PC (linux-based), laptops (some using Windows), Sonos system (which uses samba sharing), and Android phone. The NUC would be left on 24/7 and hdmi output connected to the TV or projector.

Is this possible, relatively easy to setup? Would accessing the HDDs be any slower than using a regular type NAS box? (I don't need RAID or huge data storage for the NAS).

Thanks for any advice.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
NUC type device might be an expensive way to do this and probably not have a great back plane for the disc IO if you're going to be doing lots of it. Though it will be silent (albeit that the HDD enclosures won't be unless you buy SSD's.)

You might care to consider a Micro-Server such as offered by HP. It may be cheaper, - especially if they are on a cashback deal (we must be in "summer sizzler" season at time of posting,) - certainly has a better IO backplane and can handle up to 4 SATA HDD's without having to resort to external disc enclosures. Mine's not silent, bit it's pretty quiet - a bit louder that the fans in my plasma TV, but not much.

They are supplied without an OS and you can certainly run Linux (or Windows if you prefer) on them. As it happens I'm running Mint on mine.

In terms of the Apps you desire, that's more to do with the O/S that the hardware so you might be better searching the Mint forums and/or asking there.
 

cjed

Well-known Member
From the 4th Gen Intel NUC onwards (latest are 7th gen) there are variants that take both an SSD (either mSATA or M.2) and a 2.5" SATA drive. There are 2TB 2.5" SATA drives readily available in 9.5mm height (to fit an NUC), so there would be no need to have external USB drives to get 2TB of storage (and I expect that 4TB drives will be available in 9.5mm 2.5" format within a year or so). As mickevh says, there are more expandable alternatives, but a 7th gen i3 or above should have no problem playing media and saturating gigabit Ethernet as a NAS.

BTW, only the very basic NUCs are silent, all the others have fan cooling. However, there are fanless after-market cases available for some NUCs (and those may allow 15mm 4TB 2.5" SATA drives to be fitted).
 

nrees87

Active Member
+1 for the HP Microservers. A NUC really isn't suited to NAS duties.

I've got an older Gen7 Microserver that has space for 5 x 3.5" HD (4x2TB Data + 1x2TB parity) and 2 x 2.5" SSD cache drives - OS is UnRaid and there's a 10gb mellanox NIC for connectivity to my main server.

Before this was relegated to backup & cctv duties, it hosted 16tb of media along with Plex, Radarr, Sonarr and Lidarr all tied in to letsencrypt / nginx with openvpn for outside world access. Did a perfectly fine job of streaming 1080p content to multiple devices on the home network (provided there was no transcoding required).

Nate
 

bubblegum57

Well-known Member

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